Composer and violinist Mark O’Connor has long been known for music that fuses classical and folk traditions. He won a Grammy in 2001 for his CD, “Appalachian Journey,” that he recorded with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer.
In his new CD, “Appalachian Christmas,” O’Connor records traditional carols and folk staples with a variety of artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Renee Fleming and Alison Krauss.
He also brings his love of American music to his method of teaching violin. O’Connor says that using a repertoire that includes bluegrass and jazz gives students a greater appreciation of American culture. He says American song structures are designed to be interpreted in a variety of ways, and he encourages students to mix styles, just as he does.
- Mark O’Connor, violinist and composer